CANADA OPEN 2011 QF – Taiwan loses 2010 champs; keeps top seeds

Chinese Taipei’s woes continued as mixed defending champions Lee Sheng Mu and Chien Yu Chin, the pair of 2010 double doubles gold medallists, lost their Yonex Canada Open quarter-final to […]

Chinese Taipei’s woes continued as mixed defending champions Lee Sheng Mu and Chien Yu Chin, the pair of 2010 double doubles gold medallists, lost their Yonex quarter-final to young Thais Maneepong Jongjit / Savitree Amitapai (pictured).

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Richmond.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Quarter-finals day at the 2011 Yonex Canada Open in Richmond began in the most exciting way, with an upset of the defending champions in mixed doubles.

Not even home favourite Michelle Li’s promising start against French ace Pi Hongyan could keep the attention of the crowd for too long away from the exciting display of fast-paced badminton with which the Thais surprised the #1 seeds.

Maneepong, 20, and Savitree, 22, have been competing together since the Badminton Asia Championships in April of this year and have had some fantastic one-off results, beating the likes of Taiwan’s Chen/Cheng and Japan’s Ikeda/Shiota but today is both their first semi-final and the second highest ranked opponent they have defeated.

”We are very happy with today’s result,” said Maneepong Jongjit after the match.  “It feels great to beat the top seeds because their ranking is so much higher than ours.

“We are happy to know that we can hold our own with the top players and being in the semi-finals is nice, too.”

“Before today’s match, I told them not to get drawn into straight, flat driving rallies but to keep turning the shuttle,” said their coach Siripong Siripool.

The coach also commented on how their partnership came into being, only a few short months ago: “I had been watching Maneepong as he was the top junior doubles player in Thailand.  He has good technique for doubles, good defense and attacks and he is also very clever.

“Savitree is very good at mixed and she had been playing with Patiphat Chalardchaleam but I thought Maneepong was a better fit and that this pair had the potential to go up.”

Taiwan is still on track for another doubles triple however, as Chen Hung Ling / Cheng Wen Hsing (pictured) had little trouble with Singapore’s Chayut Triyachart / Yao Lei and Cheng/Chien and Fang/Lee are both to play unseeded opponents in the last matches on Friday evening, even if the latter’s opponents are U.S. Open winners Ko/Lee of Korea.

So too is China looking for three doubles golds as Liu Xiaolong / Qiu Zihan beat giant-killing giants Smith/Warfe of Australia in men’s doubles and Canada’s own Toby Ng / Grace Gao could not hold on against Liu Cheng / Luo Ying.

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @